Afghanistan: Where Did The Money Go?

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryAs the current Afghan government keeps losing territory to the Taliban, it begs the question why is the Afghan government losing period? The United States spent 20 years and $2.26 trillion to keep that country stable, and to help rebuild that country’s infrastructure, society and economy. Further, the United States gave so much weaponry, tanks, armored vehicles, airplanes, helicopters, and stockpiles of ammunition that should easily keep the Afghan army going for at least another decade. Additionally, the United States spent so much money on training the Afghan armed forces to be able to fight for itself when it was to be called upon to take full control of any war against the Taliban.

Instead of seeing the Afghan government being able to keep control of the country, it has lost 85 percent of the land to the Taliban. Instead of the Afghan army fighting tooth and nail, tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers have either surrendered to the Taliban, fled the country to Tajikistan, or deserted in ever growing numbers. Those Afghan soldiers who have fought ran out of weaponry and ammunition only to be massacred by the Taliban. U.S. intelligence agencies estimate that at this current rate, the Afghan government will fall in six months. It has become fatally clear that the Afghan government is corrupt to the core, incapable of defending itself or the people of Afghanistan, and has totally, TOTALLY wasted the money it was given for two decades.

The only answer to all of this is that officials past and present have pocketed all that money given by the United States and have spent little to nothing for the common Afghan soldiers, almost nothing to rebuilding the country, and have certainly done nothing for protecting the people in the furthest provinces of the country. I am afraid the conclusion will be pretty clear. It reminds me of what happened in South Vietnam. No matter what the United States may have done there, the South Vietnamese government was too corrupt, too incompetent, and too busy fighting itself in coups, counter-coups, and in petty intra-military skirmishes to effectively fight the Communist Vietcong and later North Vietnamese Army. That government proved equally incapable of providing its troops with the weaponry, ammunition and training to fight for its own survival. I can only hope that the United States has now learned that we cannot enforce democracy and our way of life at the end of bayonet on countries and regions where such things never existed before and the people do not want them. Will the examples of the Vietnam War and the Afghanistan War be enough for our politicians to get the point?

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